Pottery is an ancient craft, and from the moment Kel sat down at a wheel she was entranced by this process of shaping earth with water, then fire. She learned later about the chemistry involved, the silica and oxides, how to paint with flame and ash, and each new understanding only increased the magic.

Kel has apprenticed to professional potters in her native Pennsylvania, the Blue Mountains of North Carolina, and as far away as the Scottish Highlands. She was fortunate to attend a concentration at the Penland School of Craft, studying under and alongside an amazing community of potters. At Penland there is a noborigama (a wood-fired, multi-chambered kiln) and the community effort of stoking the fires in shifts for days was incredible. Potters have done this for centuries.

In 2015 Kel began renting space at the ceramics studio in her local Art Center. Today she not only uses the space, she helps run it as the studio technician, sharing her expertise with a growing community of potters, and applying what she’s learned by mixing glazes and firing the kilns.

Kel’s studies exposed her to many forms, styles, and techniques and she threads these into her own work. She launched Darling Studios in 2016 and began formally selling at Craft Shows and markets. Kel’s work is functional, focusing on pottery that can be used every day. Her mission is to explore the marriage of beauty and function, and to furnish homes with pieces that are as lovely as they are useful.

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